9:30am Saturday 10th August 2013
By David Pritchard
Chris Wilder plans to recall the attacking unit which tore Portsmouth to shreds in a bid to send Oxford United top of the table this afternoon.
Strike partners Deane Smalley and Dave Kitson, along with wingers Alfie Potter and Sean Rigg, are all set to start against Bury.
Kitson missed Tuesday’s cup defeat at Charlton Athletic with a rib injury, while the other three were rested and came on as second-half substitutes.
Wilder is hoping the quartet will come up with a similar display to the one which caused so many problems in the 4-1 win at Fratton Park.
He said: “All four of them will come back into the side.
“We made a decision on Tuesday night and prioritised (the league game) to a certain extent.
“We feel even looking at Alfie, Riggy and Deane Smalley when they came on they gave us so much energy and spark.
“That’s no disrespect to the players who started at Charlton, but those four were excellent at Portsmouth and if we can keep them fit I think they can cause anybody problems.”
Only alphabetical order keeps United off the top of Sky Bet League Two, after Newport County also won their opening game 4-1.
But maximum points this afternoon would give Wilder’s men a great chance of going top, a position they briefly held last August.
“We want that mindset right the way through the season and if we’re in a position to win the next game and add three more to your points total then we’re not going to be far off,” the U’s boss said.
“Why not hit the top early? That will be the aim.“ With no new injury concerns, United are likely to name the same XI which began at Portsmouth.
It means James Constable, Asa Hall, Ryan Williams and Callum O’Dowda, who were promoted at The Valley, will have to make do with a place on the bench at best.
Bury have a trip to Norwich City to look forward to after beating Crewe Alexandra 3-2 in the Capital One Cup.
But Kevin Blackwell’s side are waiting for their first points of the season following 2-0 defeat to Chesterfield a week ago.
Andrew Procter (hamstring) is their only injury concern, while Jordan Sinnott could make his debut after signing on loan from Huddersfield Town.
Oxford Utd: probable Clarke, Hunt, Mullins, Wright, Newey, Potter, Whing, Rose, Rigg, Kitson, Smalley. Subs from: Crocombe, Raynes, Constable, Hall, Williams, Davies, Ruffels, O’Dowda.
Bury: from Lainton, Beeley, Hinds, Cameron, Roberts, Jones, Procter, Holden, Soares, Harrad, Grimes, Sinnott, Forrester, Charles-Cook, Lock-wood, Chippendale, Rooney, Jackson, Reindorf.
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